One of the honored pioneers of Atchison county is Thomas Frable, whose history has been closely associated with that of this portion of Kansas for the past forty years. During this time he has been a witness of remarkable changes for the better and has been an interested and active worker for the causes of education, good government and progress along all lines.
The birth of Thomas Frable took place in Westmoreland county, Pennsylvania, March 22, 1832. His father, who was a shoemaker by trade, died when our subject was a child of but four years. The mother survived him many years and married a second time. Thomas Frable was one of two children, and his brother, Solomon, is at present a resident of Sumner county, Kansas.
As his mother was left without much means, Thomas Frable became a member of the family of James Quinn, who, on the whole, was kind to the lad, though he was not "generous to a fault" and did not spoil the child with overmuch attention and affection. However, he was allowed to attend school a few months each winter and managed to obtain a fair education. Upon reaching his majority, according to agreement. Mr. Frable was given a horse, saddle and bridle.
At the age of thirty years Thomas Frable married Rebecca Graham, a daughter of Richard and Nancy Graham, who were natives of Pennsylvania. Mrs. Frable has two brothers living, namely: Robert, who still makes his home in the Keystone state; and William, a well-known citizen of this township. Five children were born to our subject and wife, but four of the number have been summoned to the silent land. Harry M., a thrifty young farmer of Benton township. owns a homestead of one hundred and sixty acres, situated on section 10. Clara became the wife of John Blankenship and died at the age of twenty-seven years. The other children died in infancy.
Mr. Frable came to Atchison county, Kansas, in 1859, then a single man. Here he met and married Rebecca Graham, who had came to the county in the same year with her parents. For one year after his marriage he freighted across the great plains and for the next two years broke prairie lands. Back in the east, as a farm hand at ten dollars per month, he had saved enough money to buy a tract of land and with this he purchased a tract, selecting what he deemed to be an excellent piece of property. He located upon an eighty-acre tract in Benton township and the house which he erected was one of the first built in the township. As the years passed he made substantial improvements and gradually added to his original farm. his present place comprising three hundred and twenty acres. Besides the large barns, windmill, fences and other necessary features of a modern, well equipped homestead, he built a beautiful residence in 1893, at a cost of over two thousand dollars. It is situated on an attractive spot and is surrounded by a beautiful grove of trees, which are noted far and near. Thus, as has been seen, Mr. Frable has literally been the architect of his own fortunes, for, commencing with almost nothing in the way of capital, he has perseveringly labored toward the goal of success and now, as the shadows of his life lengthen, he is in possession of an assured competence. In his political belief he is a Republican, but he has led a quiet life and has had no desire to occupy public positions. The sincere respect and confidence of all with whom he has been associated are bestowed upon him.